A quick way to get heel heat in the world of Professional Wrestling is to declare your hatred for the United Sates and take on the persona of one of their enemies. More often than not, these performers were not from those countries, but back in the 70’s and 80’s had you told anyone that Ivan Koloff was not really a Russian, it would be hard to find anyone to believe you.
Ivan Koloff played the part of the evil Russian well. With his barrel chest and vicious look, Koloff looked meaner than others who wore the hammer and sickle emblem. Enjoying a long and prosperous career, Koloff racked up titles everywhere he went and has the distinction of being the wrestler who first dethroned Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF Championship. If there was anyone who played the part of the evil Soviet wrestler better and longer than Ivan Koloff, we are hard pressed to think of him.
The Bullet Points:
Oreal Perras (Real Name)
The Russian Bear
The Soviet Union (Really from Canada)
Key Championships Held:
NWA Florida Tag Team (5) (3w/Mr.Saito, 1w/ Nikolai Volkoff, 1w/Pat Patterson)
NWA Georgia Tag Team (7) (5w/Ole Anderson, 2w/Alexis Smirnoff)
NWA Mid Atlantic Heavyweight (4)
NWA Mid Atlantic Television (2)
NWA World Tag Team (4) (2w/Nikita Koloff, 1w/Don Kernodle, 1w/Ray Stevens)
NWA Six Man Tag Team (2) (1w/Nikita Koloff & Khrusher Khruschev 1w/The Powers of Pain)
NWA United States Tag Team (w/Khrusher Khrushchev)
WWC Puerto Rican Heavyweight
WWF World Heavyweight
Why He Will Get In:
He held the big strap in the WWF and is widely known and respected.
Why He Won’t Get In:
With Nikolai Volkoff in, the WWE may feel it has its token “Russian”.
Five Greatest Matches/Moments: (In Chronological Order)
1. Defeated Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF World Heavyweight
2. Headlined Soldier Field in AWA Title Shot against Verne Gagne
3. Defeated Roddy Piper for his first of four Mid Atlantic Heavyweight
4. With Nikita Koloff, lost to the Rock and Roll Express in a brilliant
match at Starrcade 85 (12/28/85)
5. Had a face turn which allowed Koloff to finish off his career in the NWA cheered as he feuded with Paul Jones (1988)